Viewed from the kitchen sink, the yard is cheering up. It's still in need of a thorough pressure-wash, the fence and the bench need a lick of paint, but it's not as dreary as it was a month ago.
This year's planting will be entirely in buckets and recycling boxes. Why? So that they can move house with me. Amongst the baby bedding plants are clematis(es) and lavenders, herbs, a little oak tree, an ash, and, out of view, a bamboo. The acer and the two very big planters with climbing roses will stay; the rest comes with me.
Like the yard plants, I'm getting ready to go too. The rather peculiar house four doors up, the one with the garden of a million fag ends, was up for sale recently, and two weeks later, a Sold sign appeared. Very encouraging. It's time I got the valuer in, but I'm not quite ready enough. I love my house, and I want it to look loved and cared for when it has viewings. The newly-decorated sitting room floor was painted yesterday (I love painted floors), and the furniture, slightly thinned out, has been moved back in. The cats' climbing frame is back in the bay window, destroying at once any pretence to a sophisticated ambience. They liked it just fine in the kitchen during the decorating; they could watch cooker, cupboards and fridge all at once.
I even tackled the small attic, unlovely depository of books, boxes, stained glass and all its paraphernalia, a table, a large chest of drawers, and a horrible old carpet (the spray-on fluff kind, all we could afford, way back when). I cleared enough space to plant my feet squarely without standing on something. There is still much to do in there before I can paint the grubby scuffed walls, but it's the last major job to be tackled indoors, the last Room of Shame. Ok, so it will be full of boxes, but they will be tidy boxes, closed, labelled and neatly stacked!
Mark the paver called today to view and estimate for the repairs to the front path; if my garden grew healthy plants as rapidly as the broken concrete of the path does, I'd be happy. We think Indian sandstone will go down instead, as it weathers well and doesn't look as bleak as concrete. There will be Before and After photos.
I've stayed pretty much on track with this plan to move, but it's been slow; much better for my stress levels. It's a rather terrifying thing to do, move on your own, and in the teeth of disbelief and opposition. Eventually, though, it's going to be time to go. Dorset? Devon? Somerset? Who knows; not me, not yet. A garden, though, definitely. Those plants would love to be in real soil instead of black plastic. And we would all love to breathe country air.
Best get a move on, then.